Phil Kornblut

Key commits to USC: 'I like the physicality of the defense'

Arden Key
Arden Key

South Carolina landed its third commitment for the class of 2015 when defensive end Arden Key committed to the Gamecocks on Sunday.

Key, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound defensive end from Martin Luther King High in Lithonia, Ga., announced his pledge on Twitter: "It's official I'm now apart of #GAMECOCKNATION SC get ready."

Key holds multiple offers and said he picked the Gamecocks over Georgia. He also had offers from Arkansas, Clemson, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Tennessee and UCLA, among others.

Key visited USC on Friday and learned a lot about the university and the football program.

"The academic part, it's like you have to try to fail," Key said. "I love the coaches. They are always ready for something. And it isn't far from home. It gives you a different environment. It's in the city, but it's also in the country."

He is a four-star prospect and the No. 3 weak-side defensive end in the class of 2015, according to 247Sports. Fellow 2015 commit Shameik Blackshear (defensive end, Bluffton) is the No. 1 weak-side defensive end in the class.

Key had 12 sacks and 58 tackles last season and said he's known for his physicality. That's something he finds appealing about the USC defense.

"I like the physicality of the defense. They always want to make contact," he said. "I like coach (Deke) Adams and the way he coaches."

Key, Blackshear and wide receiver Dexter Neal (Stone Mountain, Ga.) are the three rising juniors to commit to South Carolina for 2015.

Key's teammate, class of 2014 defensive back Wesley Green, recently announced the Gamecocks as his favorite. Green plans to announce a decision July 1 at The Opening.

Key knows that others schools won't back off of him in recruiting, but he said it will be hard to turn him.

"I'm very solid, 100 percent," he said. "The only way I decommit is a change in the coaching staff or some other school says something really crazy."

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